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Peonies

MOD NOTE:  contains content which may be triggering for some members

 

Hi, I have been "stalking" this website for a while now, I saw a couple stories that were a lot like mine. I never knew how much harm these darn medications could do, moreover, I was so glad I found that I was not alone in this. I felt like crying tears of relief when I found this community.

 

Im not sure where to start so I will just give a basic "run-down" of my history;

 

I came from an abusive background. My father abused me when I was younger, and my neighbor "took advantage" of me when I was 8, repeatedly.

Im thankful I am not in that situation anymore, but those experiences did leave me with some "battle scars."

I was diagnosed in early 2014 as having OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Panic Disorder, PTSD, and ADD.

 

I knew I had some things from childhood, like the OCD, Depression, Anxiety and of course the ADD (That one is a bit hard to miss)

But I was so shocked to find what had happened to me did give me PTSD. 

It was such a shock.

 

I was hospitalized in late 2014 for a suicide attempt and that was my first introduction into the Antidepressants. To be honest they never really helped me. 

I was put on Prozac, not sure the dose, but I quit cold turkey after 3 maybe 4 weeks on it now that I think back to it. 

No side effects. No nothing. 

Then I was prescribed with several things back to back, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, I would only take 1 or 2 pills before not taking them anymore as I just felt the medication just masked the problem without actually fixing it. The only one that really did help a bit was Effexor but I got so jittery it was ridiculous I stopped after 2 days of use.

again, no side effects, I was blessed.

 

I was given Xanax for my panic attacks, i took it sparingly. 

Then I was given medication for my ADD, I thought "why not" and gave it a try since I was having trouble focusing especially in the workplace. 

I was given focalin. It completely destroyed me. I had a OCD flare up like no other. I ended up hospitalized from early May to late July/ Early August.

 It was a nightmare even though it did make me perform better, it was OCD hell.

 

I recovered in a few days and was put on Paxil. 40 mg. 

and Trazadone for sleep which was switched with another type of sleep medication. I would take a combination of Trazadone and a cocktail of other sleep medications on and off. 

 

The doctor never warned me of the side effects of these stupid medications. 

I started having Nervous sweats, shaking which I believe to be called "akathesia", hypersensitivity, more panic attacks, PTSD episodes, OCD episodes. and weird sensations in my private parts that from what I have been reading, is called "PGAD" , horrible insomnia, sensations that are not there, so severe somatization, tinnitus that comes and goes, depersonalization, less able to focus, and an increase in paranoia. I ended up worse than when I started with this mess..

 

I have been though enough.

 

Since I have been stalking this website I have been following a few stories that were a lot like mine and trying to mimic them in their withdrawal. I went from 40mg of Paxil to 21 mg. Probably too fast. I have been following Hopefull, ASkyFullOfHappy, MamaP, Gentle Steps, Petunia, MollyN  especially since some of their stories really mirror mine in one way or another. Im sorry for stalking ya'll, I am actually very embarrassed, but I was recently given the courage to make my own account since I feel like I still don't know what I am doing sometimes, and honestly my symptoms, although they have improved a slight bit, they are not where I need them to be. 

 

I hope with some guidance I can get on the right track here, and maybe help a couple people out as well.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
Added Mod Note

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ChessieCat

Hi Peonies and welcome to SA.  I'm glad you finally joined us and introduced yourself.

 

So that we can see your drug history at a glance please complete your drug signature by following these instructions:

 

 A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

We encourage members to visit and post on other members' topics.  In this way, you can connect with others and you can support each other.

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

 

 

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Peonies

ChessieCat,

 

Thank you for tagging my post. I have made my signature as you requested. 

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Peonies

New User Here, I have a couple questions:

 

First, it seems from what I have been reading around here, I have been tapering too fast and sporadically, and from what I have seen the Moderators recommend to other people is to stay on one dose for 4-6 weeks so that the nervous system can have time to adjust to the change so I will be "holding" the 21mg Paxil for a couple months  before I make another drop. I'll see how that helps my symptoms.Would that be acceptable?

 

Second, Is there any other activities that anyone here can recommend while tapering that can ease the symptoms? My current symptoms are more emotional than physical at the moment. I seem to be having lots of crying spells and irritability that seems to come out of nowhere, any suggestions on how to help that?

 

Finally, is there any guidelines on keeping a journal? Or any "tips" anyone here can give on keeping track of symptoms?

 

 

Edited by Peonies
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MollyN

Hi peonies! I'm so delighted you decided to step out and start a journal! It can be such a lonely and dark road sometimes, that sharing this space with others that understand is invaluable. Thank you so much for entrusting us with the outline of your background with childhood abuse, that's so brave of you. Sounds as though you've had to be very brave an awful lot in your life so far xxxx

 

Goodness I've just been watching Peter Breggin's youtube series Simple Truths about Psychiatry and he speaks specifically about adhd/add meds ramping up OCD. I'm so sorry that happened to you too.

 

Paxil is such a beast, I'm delighted that you haven't been on it for years, and lets' hope we can get you back off it safely. I'm not very good at knowing what's best for people in terms of their doses and holds, but the mods are amazing.

 

In terms of things I did when I was in the midst of horrible withdrawal - well I was pretty desperate and would try all/any of these at various points in the day as needed: EFT tapping, beginners yoga poses, breathing exercises and qi gong. At the time, I was just so desperate I'd be tapping away/breathing/posing lol throughout the day with no clue if was helping, but with the benefit of hindsight, I know that all these things did support me to move past those horror stages :) Let us know the things you try xxx

 

As for your journal, some of us talk about their lives in greater detail, others just about their withdrawal symptoms and experience, I'm naturally chatty so tend do so in writing as well, just be yourself. In term of an online forum, this is the kindest, most supportive I've ever come across, so you don't have to worry about people getting their kicks from being cruel or demeaning. See you soon xxxmollyn

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Peonies

MollyN I cannot thank you enough for your kindness, it really has brought some sunshine on my day. Before I joined I have actually been following along with some of your posts so it's a almost like a privilege to have you post on my post, thank you!.

 

I will be sure to contact a Moderator to help me figure out doses. Thank you for the tip. 

 

And also, Peter Breggins sounds intriguing, I should go watch some of his content. Yes, the ADD medication although helpful, made me spiral into a horrible OCD episode. I am trying to use more "practical" forms to help my ADD, it does get challenging sometimes so I am still learning. 

 

Yoga sounds very interesting, it is something I have always wanted to try, so I will definitely  try some poses, maybe sneak it into my routine. I find sound therapy and aroma therapy are working wonders for me... have you tried any of those as well?  I should also look into that Qi Gong. That also interests me.

Overall I think I should be more active as well, Im getting a gym membership soon so i will definitely try to incorporate  your suggestions in!

 

Hmm, I will try to journal as much as possible I think, a mix between a list and a daily life sort of thing I suppose. I look forward to it.

 

Thank you taking the time to write to me and your support. I really have appreciated it! 

 

 

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Peonies

Journal Entry No.1

 

      Today was pretty good, I was not productive at all however, it seems my OCD has been on the rise lately, it seems I am stuck in some sort of hellish seesaw with both having OCD and ADD. When I have something to do my ADD makes it difficult to start the task and when I do start the said task I obsess about it to no end.

     I have spent a month trying to clean my room, some days I cannot start the process and other days I cannot stop. I say to myself; "I will clean my book shelf" and as I  am cleaning it I find that one of my white book covers is off or dirty, so then I have to clean the entire book covers, and then the books because I don't what the covers to get dirty from the books. So then as I wash the book covers, I notice I did not wash my hands before putting the clean book covers in the drier, Oh! got to wash them again! So on, and so forth. It is a nightmare.! Sometimes I wish I could just re-build my house, and even then I feel there would be something not right. 

     I also ordered some items from Amazon; a headphone set and makeup brush set, both in champagne gold. However, to my dismay, they both came in a pink rose gold! Not my favorite color, and especially since my room aesthetic is black, white and champagne gold, they would have looked so out of place, it was so irritating. So now I have to wait to first return the items, and then wait for the correct color items to come.

     Yes, I know it's quite a mundane problem, but at the very least it keeps my mind off the withdrawal ha!

 

 

     On the Withdrawal end of the scale I am having a great window. Before I had several issues with what is called "PGAD" as well as anxiety, somatization, and flare ups of OCD. Currently I am struggling a bit with my Depression. It rose up yesterday evening, I felt so irritated with my boyfriend for no reason whatsoever. Him and I are long distance, (He is from England, and I from the United States) and that did make me nervous that it would take a toll on us. He did however understand what I was going though, we talked about it and although the inexplicable irritation is still there, things are looking up for us ... although I also still have this inexplicable sadness that hangs around  him and I. A relentless anxiety that makes me think he hates me. Its quite draining but I try to stay positive and remind myself that "This too shall pass".

     I know he will be there for me no matter what, he has been so supporting though my withdrawal. 

     

     Tomorrow, I hope for a more productive day. I will try and actually finish cleaning my room, I am so very close! I also have to do laundry. I am also going to start a yoga routine as MollyN recommended, and look into the Qi Gong. I look forward it! I also want to see about getting my gym membership soon, I cannot wait to start swimming laps again, and of course, figure skating again, it has been too long. I long for the feeling of the ie again, I feel so free doing laps around the rink. But first, my new debit card has to be mailed to me, since I lost my new one two weeks ago.  Ah, Im so irresponsible sometimes.

     I also look forward to hopefully hearing back from the jobs I have been applying to, I hope I get a job at Starbucks, as a college student, the money would come in handy.

 

 

 

 

  

 

Edited by Peonies
I accidentally submitted my post too early.

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Peonies

Goodness, I just realized something... When the guidelines  say "reduce only up to 10% each time you make a drop from the medication" they mean 10% off the previous dosage. 

So for example, I deduced that 10% of 30mg is 27mg, that is a reduction of 3 mg. So I thought every 3 weeks I would reduce by 3 mg. That is what I have been doing all along! Ah! No wonder I am having some difficulties with the withdrawal, I have been removing the same amount at all times. 

 

Silly me. 

 

I will have to start doing 10% off the previous dosage as it is expected now,. Good thing I have figured this out before I made any more changes! However, I do think I will hold my current dose for a couple of months before I go down again so I can stabilize, but i will still write entries here while I wait, as well as talking to some great people here.

 

From my calculations this is how it should go:

 

  • 21 mg
  • 18.9 mg
  • 17.01 mg
  • 15.31 mg
  • 13.78 mg
  • 12.40 mg
  • 11.16 mg
  • 10.04 mg
  • 9.04 mg
  • 8.14 mg
  • 7.33 mg
  • 6.60 mg
  • 5.94 mg
  • 5.35 mg
  • 4.82 mg
  • 4.34 mg
  • 3.91 mg
  • 3.52 mg
  • 3.17 mg
  • 2.85 mg
  • 2.57 mg
  • 2.31 mg
  • 2.08 mg
  • 1.87 mg
  • 1.68 mg
  • 1.51 mg
  • 1.36 mg
  • 1.22 mg
  • 1.10 mg
  • 0.99 mg
  • 0.89 mg
  • 0.80 mg
  • 0.72 mg
  • 0.65 mg
  • 0.59 mg
  • 0.53 mg
  • 0.48 mg
  • 0.43 mg
  • 0.39 mg
  • 0.35 mg
  • 0.32 mg
  • 0.29 mg
  • 0.26 mg
  • 0.23 mg
  • 0.21 mg
  • 0.19 mg
  • 0.17 mg
  • 0.15 mg
  • 0.14 mg
  • 0.13 mg
  • 0.12 mg
  • 0.11 mg
  • 0.10 mg
  • 0.09 mg
  • 0.08 mg
  • 0.07 mg
  • 0.06 mg
  • 0.05 mg
  • 0.04 mg
  • 0.03 mg
  • 0.02 mg
  • OFF!

Whew.... that took quite a while, but I am glad I made it, since it will come in of use. I hope one of the moderators could check over this list to make sure it looks okay. This is going to be quite the journey. If this is correct, it will take me 5 years to get off this Paxil. Goodness, this is going to be quite the adventure. 

 

 

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baroquep

Hi Peonies, I am glad that you have decided to hold for a while.  When symptoms ramp up whether physical or emotional, it is always a good idea to hold.  I am going to attach a tapering spreadsheet so that you can calculate your doses going forward.  Yes, it is recommended that you taper 10% of your current dose with at least four weeks between decreases.  Sorry, I'm just about to head to bed but saw that you are new and might have a bit of difficulty finding your way and wanted to provide you with a few links to get you started.  If you have any questions or need additional help please post your questions in your introduction topic and one of the moderators will stop by and help.  Please also feel free to post in the introduction topics of other members of the Surviving Antidepressant community, they are a supportive group, know what you are going through and are here to help.

Tapering Calculator - Online
Tapering Calculator - Download

 

It doesn't look like you have been provided the links previously, but would suggest you have a good read so that you understand the recommendations made here.

Before you begin tapering what you need to know
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for Tapering Paxil / Paroxetine

 

Stabilising After a Reduction - What Does That Mean?

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

I'm including a few links on techniques that you can use to help manage your symptoms.  People have found that incorporating one or more can give them a bit of respite from the withdrawal.  There are numerous ideas in the Symptoms and Self-Care Forum which you can find here Symptoms & Self Care

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Acceptance and Mindfulness

Another thing that people find helpful to calm anxiety is taking Omega 3 and Magnesium.  You can find information on those supplement below:

 

Omega-3 Fish Oil
Magnesium

 

Would like to welcome you to Surviving Antidepressants, am glad that you found the site.  I am sure I will see you on the boards sometime in the future, but for now, I better get to bed as I have to work in the morning!!!  All the best to you on your journey.  

Edited by baroquep

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Martina23
13 hours ago, Peonies said:

Journal Entry No.1

 

      Today was pretty good, I was not productive at all however, it seems my OCD has been on the rise lately, it seems I am stuck in some sort of hellish seesaw with both having OCD and ADD. When I have something to do my ADD makes it difficult to start the task and when I do start the said task I obsess about it to no end.

     I have spent a month trying to clean my room, some days I cannot start the process and other days I cannot stop. I say to myself; "I will clean my book shelf" and as I  am cleaning it I find that one of my white book covers is off or dirty, so then I have to clean the entire book covers, and then the books because I don't what the covers to get dirty from the books. So then as I wash the book covers, I notice I did not wash my hands before putting the clean book covers in the drier, Oh! got to wash them again! So on, and so forth. It is a nightmare.! Sometimes I wish I could just re-build my house, and even then I feel there would be something not right. 

     I also ordered some items from Amazon; a headphone set and makeup brush set, both in champagne gold. However, to my dismay, they both came in a pink rose gold! Not my favorite color, and especially since my room aesthetic is black, white and champagne gold, they would have looked so out of place, it was so irritating. So now I have to wait to first return the items, and then wait for the correct color items to come.

     Yes, I know it's quite a mundane problem, but at the very least it keeps my mind off the withdrawal ha!

 

 

     On the Withdrawal end of the scale I am having a great window. Before I had several issues with what is called "PGAD" as well as anxiety, somatization, and flare ups of OCD. Currently I am struggling a bit with my Depression. It rose up yesterday evening, I felt so irritated with my boyfriend for no reason whatsoever. Him and I are long distance, (He is from England, and I from the United States) and that did make me nervous that it would take a toll on us. He did however understand what I was going though, we talked about it and although the inexplicable irritation is still there, things are looking up for us ... although I also still have this inexplicable sadness that hangs around  him and I. A relentless anxiety that makes me think he hates me. Its quite draining but I try to stay positive and remind myself that "This too shall pass".

     I know he will be there for me no matter what, he has been so supporting though my withdrawal. 

     

     Tomorrow, I hope for a more productive day. I will try and actually finish cleaning my room, I am so very close! I also have to do laundry. I am also going to start a yoga routine as MollyN recommended, and look into the Qi Gong. I look forward it! I also want to see about getting my gym membership soon, I cannot wait to start swimming laps again, and of course, figure skating again, it has been too long. I long for the feeling of the ie again, I feel so free doing laps around the rink. But first, my new debit card has to be mailed to me, since I lost my new one two weeks ago.  Ah, Im so irresponsible sometimes.

     I also look forward to hopefully hearing back from the jobs I have been applying to, I hope I get a job at Starbucks, as a college student, the money would come in handy.

 

 

 

 

  

 

Peonies, I also have this with OCD. For example I have to check my house more times if I go away because there is still something I didnt check. So I understand it very well. Try to take it easy.

 

It is nice that you have such a good boyfriend. It must feel good to always feel supported.

 

You will manage this tapering. I am sure of it.

 

Thank you for your support.

 

I wish you a nice day. Martina

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Peonies

Thank You Martina for the support as well, your words do really brighten up my day!

I have had such a nice window it seems, in regards to the physical symptoms at least, today it had been okay. The "PGAD", and akathisia sensations were acting up slightly today, but only,  I think, because I was worried about it. 

 

OCD is quite the kicker, it is such a hard disorder to live with sometimes, I am glad you understand me, thank you, you should take it easy as well.

 

Best wishes Martina.

 

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MollyN

Morning (evening) Peonies - you've done so well!! A full withdrawal dose list - I'm so impressed! 5 years does sound a lot, but basically it could be 5 years in hell (with a cold turkey) or 5 years quietly and gently slipping away from paxil's grip - you''re definitely choosing the best road :)

 

I love the sound of aroma and sound therapy - they sound so nourishing. The add/ocd interface sounds really tricky and exhausting; you're so self-aware which is got to be a great start. Figure skating sounds beautiful, congratulations on being so accomplished and best of luck with the job hunt xxx

 

I'm at home and bored out of my tiny mind so might actually start walking again now the kids are back at school... argghh it's so hard sometimes to do what I know is good for me!

 

big hugs xxxmollyn

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Peonies

Baroquep,

 

     I hope you get some amazing sleep and have a fantastic day at work tomorrow! Thank you so much for taking time to read my postings as well as responding so informatively as well as succinctly. I will be sure to look at all those links you have given me, as well as taking your suggestions about posting in introductions. Sorry it took me so long to see your post, I did not get the notification that not only Martina had replied. Again, I cannot thank you enough for the help. 

 

MollyN,

 

     Why thank you Molly, it did take quite some time but I am so very glad the list will be in one place where I can look back at it now. You're right Molly, I am choosing the right path, although the numbers seem staggering right now, it will definitely be for the best. It is actually quite nice to think that by the time I enter the second phase of study in my career I will be off these medications, I will sure need the energy and stamina. Thank you so very much for your kind comments as well, they really do bring a smile. today I tried doing the Yoga you suggested as well as looking into the Qi Gong. All I can say for now is I am very looking forward to becoming more flexible with the Yoga! At first it was a bit difficult since I am out of shape, but after I got deep into the rhythm of the exercises I found it to be so very soothing, I actually ended up doing an hour of it before heading off to my classes. I also really liked the Qi Gong, I hope to incorporate it in with the yoga as well! And thank you as well for the good wishes on the job hunt, no results yet but my hopes sure are up. 

 

I also sure do know how you feel about getting things done, even when they are good for you but as my mother says "There will always be a right path and an easy path" but to be honest I think she got it from some book, but it is a good thing to keep in mind, even when it's really hard, I definitely know the feeling!

 

Good Luck today Molly, big hugs and best wishes!  

 

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Peonies

Journal Entry No. 2 

 

     Today was a rather good day for me. I got a couple things sorted in my room, however not as much as I would have expected. I would guess there is always tomorrow, I shall make that top priority. My OCD and Depression waves have finally seemed to pass, they only lasted around 2 days which I think is fantastic. I have been having a almost 3 week window from the physical symptoms of withdrawal; "PGAD", akathisia, cold sweats, and digestive issues. However, I did find that today I saw some physical symptoms "peaking" out from the cracks thought the day. Of course, being a long time sufferer from somatization, I must always check whether it is in my head, or in my body. I found for the most part it was in my head. However, the anxiety that comes from and after the somatization was quite powerful today, which is expected.

     I remember a few years back I was "convinced" I was pregnant, and started to somaticize my symptoms...Things did not go well to say the least. I remember my stomach actually swelling and feeling all the symptoms, alas however it was all in my head and when I "accepted" this fact all my symptoms disappeared, even my bloated stomach. Anyone could have sworn I was 4 months pregnant, at the time, and in 3 days, it all went back to normal. Amazing how the brain works.

     Somatization is such a vicious cycle, it really is, and I really felt it today. The sudden feeling of "Do I have this? Do I have that?" and then the panic one feels. Then the research that comes after, you read all the symptoms and begin to check your body for them, and soon enough , they begin appearing, so you panic more, which sends you into more research and more symptoms. A horrible carousel of despair. It's hard to accept that I cannot trust my own body sometimes. That may make the withdrawal difficult. 

 

     On  the bright side of things, I did receive my new debit card in the mail today which means I can finally get a gym membership and begin ice skating and swimming as well. I look forward to that. I also look forward to going shopping for some new sweaters as the weather is getting cold around here, which really, I do not mind, I love the cold, but not wearing at least a sweater for the upcoming winter is just not practical! haha!

      I also made it a goal to get new glasses. I broke my previous pair and it has been oh so difficult to see things sometimes. I have a lazy eye which makes reading very difficult sometimes if I do not wear glasses, so I do look forward to that! Maybe when I finally get them I can also get back into playing my violin once again. I used to be a semi-professional concert violinist, however after being so busy with University and breaking my glasses on top of that, it has been very difficult to begin paying again. I do hope to join my universities' Orchestra next year.

       Goodness I have so much to do, and so little time, however I am glad I am being kept busy.

 

Tomorrow I see my wonderful psychologist again. look forward to a wonderful meditation session with some great sound therapy, as well as my weekly dosage of CBT and exposure therapy. I honestly think those two types of therapies have done more good for me than any pill ever has.

 

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Peonies

Hi everyone, not to alarm people but I am unfortunately having quite the emergency.

 

My insurance sent a notice today that they will no longer be able to provide me with Paxil or the generic forms of it. I have 2 months worth of it left but after that I will not have any left. I have not a idea what to do now. My withdrawal plan was around 5 years long and now for it to be cut back to 2 months is ridiculous. I am oh so very afraid of what may happen to me. I hope that a Moderator or anyone here will be able to get me off the medication as safely as possible. I called the manufacturer of Paxil and they said they would be able to give me some doses but definitely not enough for 5 years worth.

I am very sorry if my post right now is not as structured or coherent as usual, but I am currently in University and in my phone, and frankly the shock of this is quite a hard one to swallow. It is hard to finally be on the right path and to have it all so behemonyhly ripped from you. 

 

If anyone can help help me I would highly appreciate it. 

 

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Martina23

I think the moderator would know it better but me, if I were you, I just try to get so many packages from manufacturor as possible and divide the tapering on so many packages you get. It is unpleasant, but it is manageable also in this case. It will be more painful but once the symptoms will in any case disappear.

 

Maybe you can also check how much does one package cost? If it is not something that you can afford.

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baroquep

Hi Peonies, It is my understanding that GlaxoSmithKline offers a program for people who do not have medical/drug insurance.  Please see the link below and see if you quality for their Uninsured Patient Assistance.  You could also see if your family doctor could provide you with samples until you find an alternative to going without medication.  Paxil is notoriously difficult to withdrawal from and I don't want to see you left in the lurch.  Please let us know if you have any success through GlaxoSmithKline or your family doctor.      

 

https://www.gskforyou.com/uninsured-patient-assistance/

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Peonies

Update: 

 

Afternoon everyone, to anyone concerned about me I am doing much better. My insurance still will not cover me, but my mother and family has graciously offered to help me with the expenses of Paxil until I find a new insurance or I find a job from which I can pay the medication as well. I have some leftover savings from my summer job in case of an emergency and I think this counts as one. I would like to thank baroquep and Martina  for so graciously also helping me in this very difficult situation, I could not have asked for a stronger support system, thank you, it really does make such a change. I have taken both your suggestions into consideration and they have really helped me out.  As I go along with my withdrawal I will make sure to update if anything rises up in terms of medication availability. 

 

 

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Peonies

Journal Entry No. 3

 

       To those of you following my few journal entries, I must apologize this one will be a short one. This morning I was faced with so much anxiety and obsessive thinking. Unfortunatly sometimes writing about my condition "triggers" my somatization sometimes and I begin to get the phantom feelings of pain, agitation and of course the ever bothersome sensation in my private parts which is called "PGAD". Today the agitation and the sensation in my private areas were the ones bothering me the most. I began to fear that after such a nice 3 week window I would be thrust back into a wave. 

     I was able to talk to my lovely psychologist today, I was very happy with our sound meditation as it did help me calm down and put things into perspective. She informed me that although sometimes the "feelings" and "sensations" may actually be present, somatization elevates the severity of them. It was a very interesting notion as I have noticed that when I do somaticize for example I think I have lymphoma, I might truly have a fever but the somatization might make the fever feel worse than it is. So I could have a mild fever that to me feels like a "death" fever. I might also have phantom feelings of extreme lethargy and I might even have swollen lymph nodes, however I just have a mild fever and not lymphoma, if that makes any sense. 

     My psychologist also recommended me to a psychiatrist who she says is knowledgeable in withdrawal to get a second opinion about my symptoms and to maybe assist me withdraw quicker if the need arises. (since I am having trouble with insurance). Let' not hope that is the case. 

     

Today has been so turbulent and busy, goodness. I did not mention before, but I had not only a Chemistry lab at university today but an anatomy lab which consisted of dissections today. As much as I love dissections it was so hard to focus with all the stressors rattling around in my head. I do hope things get better. 

 

 

      Also, interestingly I found a website of "PGAD" which says the condition is often progressive, getting worse after 6 months until it is relentless. I do hope this is not correct. I have heard of people healing from such a horrible sensation. 

Better not make myself scared again. 

   How frustrating this all is. 

 

 

 

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MollyN

Oh my goodness peonies - I think (know) you've fitted more into your few years than I have in the entirety of mine you clever, lovely person! I'm extremely relieved to hear about your family paying for the paxil in the meantime - awesome xxx Imagine what a marvellous doctor you will be after experiencing what you have in life so far!

 

I wonder what the psychiatrist will suggest (although no offence to that person, but  many of the true experts in this area can be found right here - lucky us :D

 

See you soon xxxmollyn

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Altostrata
11 hours ago, Peonies said:

Hi everyone, not to alarm people but I am unfortunately having quite the emergency.

 

My insurance sent a notice today that they will no longer be able to provide me with Paxil or the generic forms of it. I have 2 months worth of it left but after that I will not have any left. I have not a idea what to do now. My withdrawal plan was around 5 years long and now for it to be cut back to 2 months is ridiculous. I am oh so very afraid of what may happen to me. I hope that a Moderator or anyone here will be able to get me off the medication as safely as possible. I called the manufacturer of Paxil and they said they would be able to give me some doses but definitely not enough for 5 years worth.

I am very sorry if my post right now is not as structured or coherent as usual, but I am currently in University and in my phone, and frankly the shock of this is quite a hard one to swallow. It is hard to finally be on the right path and to have it all so behemonyhly ripped from you. 

 

If anyone can help help me I would highly appreciate it. 

 

 

Hello, Peonies. Many large retailers, such as Costco, Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger, Target, etc. have special prices for some generic drugs not covered by insurance. In a pinch, for example, you would be able to get most generic paroxetine prescriptions filled at Costco.com for less than $15 per month.

 

This site offers a comparison https://www.goodrx.com/paroxetine?drug-name=paroxetine

 

There are a couple of sites that offer discounts, such as https://www.blinkhealth.com/paroxetine-hcl and healthwarehouse.com

 

You would, of course, pay a lot more for brand-name Paxil -- see https://www.healthwarehouse.com/solr/result/?q=paxil+20mg

 

As a very last resort, you could switch to Prozac.

 

It seems your taper is going pretty well so far -- getting from 40mg to 21mg since May is a very big drop. It sounds like maybe 40mg was too much for you in the first place.

 

It's too bad that this action by your insurance company has put a bump in your road. Unless you want to pay for brand-name Paxil, you'll have to carefully switch over to generic. We suggest you do this by taking part of your dosage from the old prescription and part from the new prescription, to make the transition easier on your system.

 

 

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Peonies

Altostrata, I cannot thank you enough for your hasty and informative reply. I have been able to get in touch with my local Target pharmacy and they have offered me a lower price for the generic Paxil, which I have also learned today is what I have been taking this entire time so, in the midst of such an anxiety inducing time it is nice to hear there is one less thing on my plate.

 

My taper seems to be going rather well as you mentioned, I recently had a nice 3 week window. At first it was very difficult and sometimes still when the physical symptoms such as akathisia show up it still is, however I try to make the best out of it. 

 

Thank you for your information Altostrata. Best wishes. 

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Peonies

MollyN, 

 

It is great hearing from, you thank you so much for your marvelous words. You are such a lovely person towards me, everyone on this site has been so wonderful it really does make me cry tears of joy I cannot express how happy and hopeful everyone here has made me. I do hope that when, and if (fingers crossed) I get to study medicine, I don't just absorb the information as is but rather evolve the field of medication so that less people have to go though so much peril and despair, especially from a medication or treatment that is supposed to help. I hope to fill the field, or at least the one I am going into (Obstetrics and Gynecology if you are curious.) with some new perspectives and new treatment options. At the very least fully warn people of the harm some medication can bring. I think a lot of doctors forget that the word "informed" comes before the words "consent to treatment"...I hope I can fix that for my patients. 

 

And yes! I am curious on what the psychiatrist will say as well, I have learned so much from this website and all it's amazing people so of course I must weigh in all that as well. I hope he is sympathetic. 

 

Thank you again Molly, for your kind words I really appreciate them. 

 

 

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ChessieCat

You might find these helpful:

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

When things are going well we may think that we can go off faster.  However, many members find that as their dose gets lower they need to go slower.  This topic is interesting:  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

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Peonies

Journal Entry No. 4

 

        Another day, another journal. It seems like my fabulous 3 week window is coming to a close. Today was a bad OCD day for me. I decided to go to the mall today to buy items for the upcoming winter when I was stuck with a wave of obsessive thoughts. Thoughts that I had stolen money from my mother, or merchandise from the store, which led  me down the rabbit hole of other previous obsessions. Obsessions that actually led me to hospitalization. I was however able to use my CBT tools and work myself down from the episode before it got to its full potential.

     After some more walking around I finally left the mall and sat down in my car...then the worrying began again. I had seen a short documentary about "PGAD" in which a woman suffering from a severe form of it said her condition got worse whilst sitting in the car. Again, the anxiety built up and soon enough, I was having the sensations in my private areas. Feeling exasperated all I could do was have a small cry in my car. I even felt like vomiting, the whole ordeal had been so maddening and vexing. 

         However, after a small cry I was able to compose myself and walk to get a fresh pressed juice, lucky for me the place was hiring! I got an interview with them for tomorrow afternoon at 4pm, oh how I do hope I get the job, money has been so tight lately!

 

         As I calmed down more I found the sensations no longer there, which was fantastic, but still the damage had been done. It is so hard to trust one's own body when it is so prone to phantom feelings and anxiety induced sensations. Tomorrow I do plan on studying more coping mechanisms for somatization. I do hope tomorrow is a better day for me. Maybe some yoga or sound meditation in the morning could come of use. 

 

     Also, on a side note I counted 20 more pills of my Paxil today, which means I should have to get some soon. With help from Altostrata, Baroquep, Martina and MollyN I think I will have enough tools at my disposal to keep going with my withdrawal safely. I am so very lucky to have such amazing people at my side. 

 

 

Edited by Peonies
Submitted Prematurely

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ChessieCat

Well done on being able to use your tools and get through it.  And good luck with the interview.

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Peonies
7 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Well done on being able to use your tools and get through it.  And good luck with the interview.

 

Thank You ChessieCat!  I really appreciate your help with this. It has been such a stressful past couple days. I have skimmed around the links that you have sent me, they look very very useful. I will actually be printing them out so I can keep them handy whilst gong to the doctor's appointment. I will also make it a goal to annotate them so that I can ask questions for the doctor. I do hope he can be of help and not of judgement. For now however, I must get some sleep.

 

Best of wishes Chessiecat.

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Peonies

Journal Entry No. 5

 

     To whomever has been reading these and following my humble story with me; I am sorry but I must make this next entry a short one as well. It has been such a long and tiresome day, I have not had but a morsel of rest. So I will try to be short, sweet and simple so that I may get to bed as quickly as possible. 

      Today was quite busy, I went to my job interview and it went swimmingly. Although I stumbled on my words quite a bit and was very nervous beforehand, I seemed to have made a good impression on the management as they have asked me to await for a call for a second interview! I really hope I get this opportunity to finally be at work again, I think it will honestly help me keep my mind at ease while in the throws of withdrawal. Plus, the place is a vegan juice bar, which means I get as much healthy juice as I can get! That should work wonders on my body.

     After the interview I went to a Halloween fair with my family and it was so much fun! It had been quite a long time since I had been out of the house. I got have sweets and go on many rides and "haunted Houses" with my little sister. It was a great time to reconnect with her. 

     After that I had a call from a long time friend who said she wanted to go out for a late night coffee run, so I threw my fears to the wind and went out with her. It was so great to see her again. She has even invited me to hang out with her this coming Halloween. I cannot wait! I do not have many friends, actually she is the only one I have other than my boyfriend of course, so it felt great to be included for once.  I do get lonely. 

 

     With regards to my withdrawal situation I tried to start taming my somatization situation. I awoke with fear once again that I would begin to have the terrible physical symptoms of withdrawal again. I felt myself slipping down that hole again, and right before I went over the edge I told myself "No. Today this is not going to happen" I began to distract my mind from running into anxiety over physical symptoms, and to my surprise I went almost the whole day without a trace of physical symptoms. There was a couple hiccups of course but for the most part I felt normal. Even when I was nervous before the interview my symptoms did not get worse. I am glad I am getting a hang of this. I hope more good days come.

 

 

 

 

 

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Peonies

Journal Entry No. 6

 

Doing well today, I went shopping with my little sister at the mall. It was quite fun! I want to make it a goal for myself to work out more and eat much healthier. I have been eating so much fast food lately out of pure connivence and it must not be doing good things for my body whatsoever. Tomorrow I will work on cleaning my room as well as getting a gym membership so that I may once again ice skate and of course, work out. As for my symptoms; Since I was out all day I did not have a trace of symptoms as I went out and about, however only when I started to worry about symptoms was when they seemed to come back.  I have such a fear of dropping a dose, that it might hurt me or my already weak nervous system. A longer hold of dosage might be in store for me I guess. Although withdrawal is a tedious task, I know the rewards a the end will be fantastic.  

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Peonies

Journal Entry No. 7 

 

     Goodness, not such a good day for me. I have started to feel the symptoms of withdrawal again. Even though I have not lowered my dose again, it seems that my body is not acclimating to my holding of the dosage currently. It started with a lot of gastrointestinal problems last night. Then once again the insomnia came back to haunt me. Soon enough I was trembling and feeling quite dizzy. Now, quite candidly I just feel like vomiting. 

     The physical symptoms are so difficult sometimes. Even the sensations in my private parts have been bothering me again lately. I hope this torment ends soon. I would guess this is what a bad wave is. 

    I apologize for such short updates, and lack of eloquence in which I usually write in, I just feel so ill lately.  

 

Will update. 

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ChessieCat

It might be that you have been physically overdoing it in the last couple of days.

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Peonies
8 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

It might be that you have been physically overdoing it in the last couple of days.

 

Maybe so, Thank you for the insight ChessieCat. Im quite the mess at the moment. 

 

Not only have I become physically ill but now my OCD has come back with quite the vengeance. I have thoughts that I might be a closeted lesbian and that my relationship with my boyfriend will have to end because of it. Gosh, I cannot deal with today right now. It is so difficult. 

 

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MollyN

Hi sweet, I'm so sorry you feel sick and overwhelmed in this wave. It's so tough xxx Thoughts flying every which way are so difficult to deal with, remember your soft relaxing breathing and body awareness, just gently and curiously scanning your body, but not being drawn into your thoughts as you breathe in and out to rest and relax.

 

Do you think your symptoms are due to your latest drop? Hopefully, they ease and settle for you over the next week. I was also wondering if you are a very driven person? You've achieved so much already I just wondered (no need to answer if that's too personal :) ) xxx lots of love for a better day today!

 

 

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Peonies
On 10/25/2017 at 2:04 PM, MollyN said:

Hi sweet, I'm so sorry you feel sick and overwhelmed in this wave. It's so tough xxx Thoughts flying every which way are so difficult to deal with, remember your soft relaxing breathing and body awareness, just gently and curiously scanning your body, but not being drawn into your thoughts as you breathe in and out to rest and relax.

 

Do you think your symptoms are due to your latest drop? Hopefully, they ease and settle for you over the next week. I was also wondering if you are a very driven person? You've achieved so much already I just wondered (no need to answer if that's too personal :) ) xxx lots of love for a better day today!

 

 

Hi Molly, Thank you so much for your caring thoughts, they do fill me with immense hope in my struggle. It is so had to go back to the basics while in the midst of such a wave.

 

Yes I do think so, I think my mind is just suffering a bit from the lack of medication. Although I hate the medication, it did help in some small way which I must now learn to deal with on my own. I am quite glad though, in a way  its good that I am leaning t deal with some things on my own. Some seem so difficult right now. Some things that the medication had help diminish greatly are now back in full swing which is hard to deal with, most notably my intense paranoia and delusional thinking. I actually could not go to University yesterday for how paranoid I was. 

 

I always have been very driven I think, I always strive to the closest thing to perfection, which also can backfire. Sorry if my answer is so short!

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Peonies

Good afternoon everyone, I was wondering If I could get some opinions on this. 

As I have dropped my medication and began to hold I saw a couple symptoms that I have had in the past start to form again in my mind. I have had pretty severe paranoia and OCD thoughts as of yesterday which honestly I cannot seem to deal with. I have thoughts that I am a lesbian and need to break up with my boyfriend because I am not attracted to men anymore, even though a month ago, even weeks ago I was more in love with him than I have ever been. It strikes me with such fear and paranoia that I must leave him, the thought leaves me in tears. I cannot even look at women nor talk to women without having severe intrusive thought that I like them and I truly am lesbian. I cannot even speak to my mother. 

 

I have delusional thinking and even hallucinations as well. I could not even go to my University yesterday because of such paranoia that I had a crush on my professor and I wanted to sleep with her. 

 

It is absolutely tearing me apart. I talked to my psychologist today as well and she also seemed concerned. She supports not taking medication and me withdrawing but even she was scared that this was too intense. I feel like Im going absolutely crazy.

 

It is such an unforgiving feeling of quite literally feeling insane. I cannot even turn the corners in my house without intense fear that there is something there. Oh and the fear induced hallucinations! How they pester me. I have had them before with intense  anxiety, but how unnerving they are. I hear screams and footstep behind me. Lucid dreams that never end. 

 

I just want my suffering to end. 

 

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MollyN

You're doing so well! You've been through the wringer in terms of the drugs you've been prescribed in the last two years - anyone of us would struggle horribly with this lot. You're doing great!

 

Baroquep already helpfully posted this link below for you, but it might be worth rereading just to remind yourself of what's important in terms of taking paxil at this time: giving your brain time right now to adjust might be the kindest thing you can do for yourself right now.

 

 

I was thinking too about your intrusive thoughts and I wondered if you'd get value from watching this soothing video by Peter Breggin MD, it's part 4 of his "Simple Truths about Psychiatry" series. (It's about 18mins long) In this one he talks about how he cares for patients in distress, often they may be hearing voices etc - now I'm not suggesting this is you at all. But I found it so encouraging that no matter how bad we might feel or how powerful our thoughts are,  that from his point of view, as an extremely experienced doctor, we can all be helped with some compassion and a loving response. I'd love to hear what you think of it xxx  

 

 

Edited by MollyN

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